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Stories, yoga, philosophy - Oh what a weekend!

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by Srama, Mar 12, 2012.

  1. Srama

    Srama Finest Post Winner

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    [JUSTIFY]So, I am done with another Yoga weekend. Like all the other students in my class, I did sit through a 3 hour philosophy class. Just that in my case, it was done half in attention, half in the enormity of trying to assimilate all that that is being shared with us, another half in awe of the students who are with me in rapt attention, never ever being exposed to Hinduism, this philosophy, the yoga sutras or the stories from the mythology and the other half wondering about them. I know my halves did not add up to one, how can it when there is so much going on?

    As I looked around the small room, they were all comfortably perched on the sofas/chairs in rapt attention (they had with their subtle actions, managed to talk the teacher out of seating them on the floor, cross legged as was expected in the beginning) nodding their heads in affirmation at all the stories, all the Sanskrit that is being thrown at them like they have been born with all that knowledge! All of them get the philosophy but the language is something that throws them off and I understand. I admire their eagerness to understand Yoga - more as a philosophy than just as another form of exercise and the belief and confidence of my teacher that they will get it, if not today at some point, with constant exposure and repetition and that it is her job to keep at it as much as she can.

    I am also often wondering at my own inability to grab the essence of what is being spoken the first time and the need for me to sleep on a thought or a story for many nights to find that 'aha' moment if I can find it! The traditional way in which all this is taught in our studio/class comes as quite a bit of surprise to me even after all these months and am amazed at how some of the other teachers have adapted to that so easily. My own teacher has a wonderful way of simply saying that we are blessed with this human life and should not waste it away. I have never understood that in the real sense of the word and often wondered about it - don't we all at one level or the other feel that we are doing our best, as humans? My teacher of course is talking from spiritual point of view and that is something I am still trying to understand.

    This week, she was talking about sandalwood trees - I believe the fragrance of these trees is so powerful that it envelopes almost all the life forms that are around it! So even the grass that grows there smells like the sandalwood tree itself! The only tree/plant that does not take on the smell of the sandalwood tree, yes there is one, is the Bamboo! The Bamboo feels, tall and proud and stands apart, but in reality is really just hollow inside! The hollowness does not allow it to hold on to the fragrance! So my teacher was in her own way urging us that despite all that one hears, or the people one meets unless one has the urge and some substance it does not matter! How simple and how true! Only if one wants, one can be....anything they want to be! And if one wants it enough, one will find a way to bring in the needed discipline to follow through. Just the simple and profound lesson I SO needed!

    The one other subject that comes up with out fail in every class is the word 'detachment'. Intellectually, it is quite easy to understand I think, to follow seems certainly doable, at least with certain materialistic objects but in reality is the hardest and I do believe that. I think understanding attachment will in a way show us what detachment is! She was trying to explain that it did not matter whether one was really rich or poor, a poor man could be as attached to his hut or more as a rich man to his mansion. This weekends' class finally explained to me what attachment is when my teacher shared the story of Sukh Dev with all of us. I had never heard this story and I found it fascinating.

    The gist of the story goes like this - Sukh Dev is the son of Vedavyasa and was born almost enlightened. He felt blessed that he was born to Vedavyasa and did not think he needed a better teacher than his own father. But his father thought otherwise and said King Janaka was the only teacher who could help him and urged his son to go to him. So the son with his 'kamandala' and 'joli' went to the palace and asked to be let in. The soldiers tell him that they will, as soon as the king nods his head and make him wait for a week outside the gates and then is made to wait for another week in a well furnished room. Now Sukh Dev is of course upset and as he is still waiting, hears some soldiers running and screaming that there is a fire. Hearing this, Sukh Dev as he gets ready to run starts looking for his kamandala and joli before he can run out. At this point, King Janaka comes and points out as to how attached SukhDev is to the only two objects he had in life - his kamandala and joli! While he had succeeded to let go of everything, he had hung on to JUST those two things, still!

    Oh my! it does reveal the whole world that I am so attached to! While this story makes me understand how many more lifetimes I might need to evolve, the example of sandalwood tree makes me understand urging me not to waste away this lifetime being a bamboo - not just being tall and proud but to indeed build in some substance and absorb! While I do not know exactly what I am seeking, I do know that it is my responsibility as a human being while making a difference to other humans, to make a difference to my own life as well, for this Human life indeed is not to be wasted away!

    So this weekend in a way did end with a nice smile on my face with many thoughts to mull over and ruminate on till I start another class, another weekend next month.[/JUSTIFY]
     
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  2. iyerviji

    iyerviji Finest Post Winner

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    Re: Stories, yoga, philosphy - Oh what a weekend!

    Sabita dear a good thought provoking post as always . Because of you I could also learn something. Thanks for sharing the lesson which the teacher taught. Just thought of sharing you this quote about attachment

    The worst thing in life is ATTACHMENT,
    It hurts when You loose it.
    The best thing in life is LONELINESS,
    Because it teaches You everything
    & when you lo0se it, You get everything!!

    As I had told earlier every post of yours is worthy of nomination. So I am just going to nominate this thread
     
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  3. navs23

    navs23 Platinum IL'ite

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    Re: Stories, yoga, philosphy - Oh what a weekend!

    Wow, very thought provoking post Srama, loved it!!!
    This was not the class that happened right on the day of daylight saving right? if it had been, a big kudos for being so alert in spite of being up early :)
    Wonderful ideals, but, I always end up clueless about how to incorporate those in life, in particular situations.
    There was a small fire accident in a nearby apartment and though it did not raise an alarm and was put off within minutes, imagine how many things I had grabbed in my hands to take with me, every little thing seemed to be important at that moment. None of the inspirational books that I have read so far nor the concept of detachment came to my mind at that moment :-(
     
  4. Srama

    Srama Finest Post Winner

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    Re: Stories, yoga, philosphy - Oh what a weekend!


    Thank you Dear Viji aunty. Every response of yours brings a fond and genuine smile to my face :) Thank you for being so sweet and always telling me that there is something to learn - that is a gentle reminder I need as I look around me to constantly learn! Thank you for the nomination also - I understand the essence of it and it means the world!
     
  5. Srama

    Srama Finest Post Winner

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    Re: Stories, yoga, philosphy - Oh what a weekend!

    Thank you navs...ha ha that was just the previous night .....our class was 6 - 10 pm :) and you know the next day's story already!

    Trust me, I hear you! that is exactly what amazed me, Sukhdev had just two things and was attached to them and King janaka could easily walk away with detachment from his palace! And look at us, how many things to feel attached to and hence the life times we might need for detachment. Last month when the mid west was ravaged with tornadoes, I have often wondered about the very same thing! Looking at the devastation had me thinking so much!

    Thank you for your feedback navs!
     
  6. Mindian

    Mindian IL Hall of Fame

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    Re: Stories, yoga, philosphy - Oh what a weekend!

    dear Sabi,

    firstly, let me tell you NOT to worry as you DO make a difference to all of us here by just sharing your activities and the resulting thought processes that you go through.

    how attached SukhDev is to the only two objects he had in life - his kamandala and joli!

    OMG !!! and just look at us....
    leave alone practicing detachment with your near and dear ones the number of inanimate objects we collect during one lifetime ???? :hide:
    and I am very guilty of being attached to them too.:hide::hide:
    and I still have a 'to buy ' list...:hide::hide::hide:

    loved the story of the sandalwood tree and the bamboo tree..Hmm, on the lighter side sandalwood is my favorite fragrance so dare I hope I leave a bit of it wherever I go? (if not anything else, that is :))
     
  7. Kamalji

    Kamalji IL Hall of Fame

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    Re: Stories, yoga, philosphy - Oh what a weekend!

    Dea rsabita,

    you are my guru and my teacher. Jai Swamininiji. Seriously, the way u have explained it, is better i am sure than what the teacher explained to u.

    the bamboo one is too good, and that it is hollow and proud, and hollow people will never learn in life, just be in their own ego.Wonderful.

    And about the boy, and his karmandal, yes we too are so attached, taht today's most probnlems are of attachments i feel. the mil and dil problems start with the attachment of the mother to her son, not wanting to cut off the attachment strings which bind her to her son, not realizing that now he has someone who will now take care of him, in all ways, the food, shelter, the companionship, soon he will have kids and be in his old world, that now is the ti,me to take the backseat, and not say a word, let them run their family, etc.

    Superb really, Sabita, i am bowled over by u and yr gyan.God bless u, attend more, teach us more.

    Regards

    kamal
     
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  8. mansimahi

    mansimahi Gold IL'ite

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    Re: Stories, yoga, philosphy - Oh what a weekend!

    Wow sabitha....thought provoking post.... I loved the stories to illustrate the points....wonderful.

    Imagine king janaka walking away with nothing.....iF we had our way, most of us would take all our worldy possessions to our grave and beyond. All our lives...right from the time we are born we bind ourselves to ppl, material stuff, places and then suddenly when we become spiritually inclined...we are told to detach ourselves and raise above earthly things...tough call indeed......spirituality is tough yet so simple...if only we allow ourselves to understand and learn from people like yourself...who put things so simply in its perspective.
     
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  9. Srama

    Srama Finest Post Winner

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    Re: Stories, yoga, philosphy - Oh what a weekend!

    Thank you mindi for that assurance :)

    I think we all have that buy list. I am just thinking not adding to the accumulation by just bringing more in and not giving out any should not be the way. When we practice this, probably we are going a step further? I don't know...may be!
    And I can feel the whiff of it :) in your smile and sweetness! I mean it!
     
  10. Srama

    Srama Finest Post Winner

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    Re: Stories, yoga, philosphy - Oh what a weekend!

    ha ha Kamalji....I tend to keep away from swamijis....so I am not sure how to react to this now! In a way you are right Kamalji...this was the gist of what finally penetrated my sleepy head from that 3hr class! I normally don't talk to my teacher (many reasons) as to how she has influenced and on an impulse when I sent this to her, she wrote back to me asking if she can print it in the studio news letter!

    Agree with your explanation of attachment/detachment kamalji, it has to be recoginsed and done certainly at the right time in our lives for relationships to thrive and prosper!


    Thank you Kamalji for your kind words - like I say always, I am trying to understand still, so as far as teaching goes...I think I do that better with Math :)
     

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